We are excited to announce the addition of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to our practice. Very few practices in our area offer LLLT. Low Level Laser Therapy has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of a variety of painful and inflamed soft tissues and joint conditions. Our team is thrilled to offer this service to you to help you get back to the activities you love.
What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Therapeutic laser utilizes light to transmit energy into damage and inflamed tissue and cells. It is known to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and accelerate recovery from a wide range of acute and chronic clinical conditions. Significant reduction in edema (swelling) has been noted as well as tissues are better able to move fluids out through lymphatic drainage pathways.
What is LLLT used for?
To increase the speed and quality of healing, tensile strength of tissue repair, & resolve inflammation and pain.
What are the effects of LLLT?
The goal in this transmission of laser light is to enhance the energy of the cells in that particular tissue/area of the body. If we can get damaged or degenerated cells to absorb as much of this light energy as possible, we will see decreased inflammation, increased blood and lymphatic circulation, relaxation of muscles, and relief of pain and stiffness.
Is LLLT safe?
There are no known negative side effects from LASER therapy and the results are long-lasting. The FDA has proven that the therapy is safe. The only contraindication (warning) is for use directly in the eye.
Is LLLT used for certain types of injuries?
Yes, it is popularly used for soft tissue injuries, joint conditions, & nerve pain. The conditions research has proven it to be effective for include but are not limited to:
- Osteoarthritis of Knees, Hips, Ankles, Shoulder, and Hands
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Shoulder Impingement
- Acute and Chronic Tendinitis
- Plantar Fascitis
- Disc Herniation of the Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Spine
- Neuropathic Pain
- Tennis and Golfer's Elbow
- Reduction in the volume and pain resulting from Lymphedema
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD / TMJ)
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Wound Healing
- Post-Operative Pain
What can I expect for results from this type of treatment?
Research shows a significant reduction of inflammation and pain equal to or better than NSAIDs within 2 hours while typically having longer lasting effects. The healing time of chronic tendon injuries was reduced by 70%.
How does LLLT compare to other options?
LLLT is proven more effective and safer than pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories across a range of musculoskeletal conditions including over 200 LLLT clinical trials and over 1,000 laboratory studies. LLLT also improves healing and reduces muscle fatigue, muscle damage, and delayed onset muscle soreness. LLLT can improve sleep and is used to treat shingles and fibromyalgia. Check with your physical therapist about other conditions not listed.
What is the science of LLLT?
The effects of LLLT are photochemical (like photosynthesis in plants). When the correct intensity and treatment times are used, red and near infrared light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP (an essential intracellular cellular energy and extracellular signaling molecule). This improves cell metabolism and reduces inflammation.
How does LLLT lead to tissue repair and anti-inflammatory effects?
The primary effect occurs when the energy producing structure in cells, the mitochondria, is stimulated. When cells get stressed (perhaps due to disease, injury or aging) the mitochondria produces nitric oxide (NO). This displaces oxygen consequently reducing ATP and causes an over production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is well known to lead to inflammation and cell death. Low Level Laser Therapy of the correct wavelength and density, dissociates NO allowing oxygen back in, so ATP is restored, and oxidative stress reduced. Once normal mitochondrial function is restored by LLLT then cell metabolism is improved, the patient gets better and heals more quickly.